Wednesday’s decision to raise annual beach sticker and daily parking fees at Westport’s 3 beaches — Compo, Old Mill and Burying Hill — drew plenty of praise. It rankled others — particularly Westonites. (Click here; then scroll down for comments.)
But — as alert “06880” reader and Weston resident Mary McGee notes — a 4th “Westport beach” becomes entirely free this summer.
It’s Sherwood Island State Park.
Last fall, state officials eliminated the parking fee for Connecticut residents at most state parks. (Sherwood Island’s was $9 on weekdays, $13 on weekends.) It’s been replaced by a $10 charge, added to the Department of Motor Vehicles registrations we pay every 2 years.
It sounds like a dumb move, for a state reeling from a budget crisis. But officials estimate the change will raise $16 million more annually for our state parks.
Out-of-state residents will still pay a daily fee at Sherwood Island. Last year it was $15 on weekdays, $22 on weekends.
So why did so many out-of-staters pay more for Compo Beach last summer — and will probably do so again this year?
It’s permitted on South Beach — but banned throughout Sherwood Island.
Maybe we should be thankful, after all, for the huge increase in Uber dropoffs and pickups.